#4. Ayatollah Khomeini of Iran meets The Joker (1988)
The team-up of The Joker and Ayatollah Khomeini in Batman #429 may seem unorthodox, but there was historical precedent for it. Political leaders have appeared alongside superheroes ever since the inception of the modern comic serial. For example, Captain America and Superman took on Hitler and his Nazis during World War II. More recently, First Lady Hillary Clinton appeared with supervillain Lex Luthor at Superman's 1993 funeral.
How that hasn't been turned into an Obama campaign ad is beyond us.
Where it goes wrong ...
This cameo provides what has to be the most fucked up portrayal of '80s-era international affairs since Rocky IV.
The Ayatollah appeared in the infamous "Death in The Family" issue, in which the Joker blew up a warehouse on Jason Todd, the second Robin. On September 15, 1988, Batman fans had a mere 36 hours to call DC's 900 number and choose whether his taut little green-Speedoed ass survived the blast. Being the charitable souls they are, comic fans voted 5343 to 5271 to ice the Boy Wonder, thus sparing him a lifetime of counseling and sexual maladjustment.
For killing the most famous sidekick in comic history, The Joker was now the second-most evil man on the planet. Obviously, he had nowhere to go but up. Luckily, opportunity came a-knocking when the Ayatollah, the first-most evil man, appeared out of nowhere to offer the Clown Prince of Crime a job.
The Joker's new gig gave him diplomatic immunity and the chance to fill the United Nations with toxic laughing gas, a deed only Batman could anticipate because, y'know, he's Batman. He's omniscient and shit.
And to make things worse ...
The 1980s--a decade when comics didn't have to be PC because we knew we were right.